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I decided I would upgrade Esteban's (my Betta fish) standard of living, so today I bought a 5 gallon tank.
(I would have gone with 10, however I don't think I can get away with bringing anything bigger than a 5 gallon to college with me next fall. The only reason why I believe I can get away with a 5 gallon is because I'm going to be living in the apartment style living arangements on campus.)

I have decided that I want to buy some shrimp to share the tank with, the most commonly suggested for Bettas being larger Ghost shrimp or Red Cherry Shrimp. I also read that shrimp will be better off if they are introduced to an already matured tank.

My questions are:

1.) How long should I allow the tank to filter before adding shrimp?

2.) In what order should I introduce the species to the tank?

Since the shrimp tend to do better in tanks with filters that have some 'experience' in cleaning tanks with communities, my first thought is to put Esteban in after a couple more days of its first filtering/new gravel, and then buy the shrimp a few weeks afterwards. But would Esteban become provoked at their presence since he will establish the tank as his "territory" by that point in time?

3.) Are there any particular variations of shrimp I should avoid/are better besides the Ghost and Red Cherry?

4.) How many shrimp can fit comfortably with Esteban in the 5 gallon tank?
 

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Betta Bomb
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Hi!
If you're concerned about adding Esteban to the tank right away you can cycle it before adding him. To cycle it you will need a source of ammonia. Some people dump their fish in for the ammonia (though this can be dangerous in a new tank and ammonia spikes can kill everything in the tank). Other people use an ammonia source from the pet store, and others still use fish they don't care about or intend to keep (goldfish tend to fall victim to this).
Running the tank for a few days without a source of ammonia will do nothing. You can add live plants to start or add the gravel out of Esteban's tank and all his decorations WITHOUT CLEANING THEM. The bacteria you want to become established lives ON things, not in the water.

How I established my 5g tank was set it up, ran the filter and added the gravel and dec from the 2 betta tanks. Then added live plants and was doing a daily 35% change on the water. Then I added my fish and snails. Never had a spike. This might not the case for you. Here: http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html

Definitely add the shrimp later. Shrimp are delicate. I bought 3 and they died right away, thereby causing a spike in my tank overnight which shocked my old betta whod died a week later of osmosis shock.
 
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